Mehidy Hasan Miraz: Rest of Bangladesh attack couldn’t apply pressure like Taijul and Shakib

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Spinner says the hosts’ bowlers failed to form partnerships as Pakistan put on 161 for 2 on day one in Dhaka

Bangladesh rarely pick five specialist bowlers at home, so when they did so against Pakistan in the Dhaka Test, there were more expectations of them. But as Mehidy Hasan Miraz put it, even during a truncated first day’s play, the home team’s bowlers couldn’t combine well to keep the visitors from asserting their authority.

Taijul Islam
continued to thrive in this Test series, picking up both wickets that fell on Saturday. He took eight wickets in the first Test in Chattogram, including 7 for 116 in the first innings that allowed Bangladesh to take a slim lead.
Bangladesh had Shakib Al Hasan back in the attack for the Dhaka fixture, and included Khaled Ahmed in the XI. But with only Shakib and Taijul showing any rhythm, all the resources they had just didn’t seem enough. Bangladesh’s best chance to dent the opposition came during the second hour of play, when they took 2 for 24 in 16 overs. But it slipped away because the rest of their bowling attack couldn’t keep the pressure.

“Taijul bhai started well,” Miraz said. “He was in great shape in the last Test. He took more wickets [than anyone else today]. He was bowling very well from one end. Partnership bowling is important in Tests. If both pacers applied pressure from both ends, we could have taken one or two wickets in the first hour. Shakib bhai and Taijul bhai bowled tight from both ends, which created two wickets. It always gives us the opportunity. Myself and the others couldn’t really apply similar pressure in the second session, which allowed them to dominate.”

Miraz, in particular, pointed out the fast bowlers’ inability to provide early wickets as one of the reasons why Bangladesh couldn’t dominate on the first day.

“Things would have been better for us if the pacers took out a few more wickets. Everyone has to contribute with the ball, and today it was just Taijul and Shakib bhai. Early wickets are important in Tests. If that doesn’t happen, we should contain the runs. It wasn’t happening for us.

“Ebadot [Hossain] bowled well, almost wicket-taking. I think we were in a decent position in the first session. If we had taken a few more wickets in the second session, it would have been easier for us,” he said.

Miraz also received a bit of flak in Chattogram for picking up only two wickets. He has often copped criticism for what some believe is a one-dimensional style of bowling, without any mystery deliveries or a major variation. Miraz, however, defended his bowling by saying that it is important to be accurate and consistent in Tests, rather than trying too much and leaking runs.

“Line and length is more important than variation. You must have good line and length to get your variation in order. You can try variations in shorter formats. Test cricket requires patience, so you have to bowl in the same spot repeatedly.

“You have to wait for the batters to make mistakes. I cannot be expected to take wickets every over in a Test match. I have to bowl well for five or seven overs, before I can try a variation. I think this patience brings success in Tests,” he said.

Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84

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